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Today, the Louvre museaum exceptionally closed its doors to protect its treasures.
Rain, rain, go away. It’s been raining in France for weeks. The Seine river is overflowing, and muddy water oozes into homes…and even into the treasure-storing basement of the Louvre Museum, the most visited museaum in the world.
There is a parallel for our families: How could we parents protect our emotional treasures such as our relationships?
This family built strong relationships by turning “Chore Time” into “One-on-One Time” and generated more “Free Time” for everyone to enjoy together.
Relationship warning signs
What are your and my family treasures? How are you and I preserving them?
My most precious resources are relationships and time. Time flies. Love lasts.
But let’s be practical. There are 24 hours in a day and too much to do in that limited time.
And the most tension-filled moments often involve the kids!
- Getting them out the door in the morning
- Managing bath, homework, and cooking dinner simultaneously
- Tucking the children into bed when I’m exhausted myself
Beware of tell-tale signs of flooding of feelings when tears flow hard and anger spurts in spouts.
It’s O.K. What if these moments when we feel close to failure are really invitations to step back and re-assess?
I realized I was doing all the work around the house while my husband was still in the office and the kids were playing.
How could this change?
The easiest fix lay in delegating chores to the kids.
Create a Chore Chart that Works for YOU
We set up a simple system using a chore chart to facilitate communication and accountability. We selected four tasks, one per child, to be completed daily for one whole week. Then the children rotated jobs.
Four boys = Four delegated chores.
(Read more about Chore Charts and how to make them work for you here)
Quality One-on-One Time Doing Chores
To my utmost surprise, chore time presented myriads of opportunities for one-on-one exchanges.
As the mother of four children I often felt guilty for not spending time with each child on a regular basis. I couldn’t find the “extra” time.
By delegating chores, every evening, one child and I would be work side by side for a few moments in the kitchen. We learned to make them precious.
As Table-Setter-of-the-Week laid out the forks and knives, I would learn about the boxing match during recess…from his perspective.
Between spinning salad and slicing carrots we explored ways to make up with his friend or to avoid bullies.
Another pair of hands might venture into Kitchen Territory during these discussions to be greeted with, “We’re having a Rendez-Vous. Please come back later.”
The other kids left us alone, knowing that as they honored the sibling’s “Rendez-Vous”, they would benefit from the same respect in turn.
Opportunities for Gratitude and Encouragement
Inspecting our children’s work presented another opportunity for relationships boosting.
Are you too the type of parent who asks the kids to do things…and forgets to mention anything when the children follow through?
When I began to intentionally check on the quality of the children’s chores, our family grew both in appreciation of each other and in jobs well done.
“I noticed you emptied the trash without my having to remind you.”
“This table is so neatly set. It looks welcoming. Thank you.”
[bctt tweet=”In verifying the children’s efforts, I expressed gratitude and my behavior became a model for them.”]
We also engaged in conversations about “quality of work,” noting the difference between emptying the dishwasher carefully or breaking plates in the process!
In checking chores we FIRST noted what was done well…as the children warmed up to chores they openned to learning how to improve. Together, we sought the best for everyone.
More Free Time
Less chores for mom translated into more time for playing cards after dinner and reading stories at bedtime. 🙂
Keeping Relationships Precious
How are you making time to bond with your child?
You might not need additional hours to your day…just another way to use the hours you and your children share together.
Your attitude sets the mind frame of your children.
“Chores” can have many definitions. It can mean work. Chores definitely signify sharing, quality time, gratitude, and encouragement.
Discover here Home Is Fun’s ways to get children to WANT their chores!